4 Tips for Tackling the Tech Startup Life as an Intern

By Anna Livaccari / 5 minutes

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Being an intern is often an exciting and challenging experience for a college student, especially at a tech startup. My Brand Marketing Internship at Cuebiq has pushed me to be as creative, diligent, and passionate as possible in order to contribute to the success of the company. Most of all, the internship taught me four main lessons about working in a professional environment that I will always remember. Here are four tips for tackling the tech startup life as an intern.

1. Embrace being the newbie

Even if you’ve completed several internships before, you still have a lot to learn. Every internship is different and is meant to challenge you to be better. While you may have interned in a similar role before, there is always room to grow. And that’s OK.

Coming to Cuebiq, I soon realized I would have to learn the ropes and become comfortable with new material, documents, terminology, and more. Having had no prior experience in the location intelligence space, let alone at a global level, I stepped out of my comfort zone when I accepted this internship. Instead of letting that scare me, I was excited to be a part of this fast-paced and changing environment.

Adding this new experience to my skill set has enhanced my marketing abilities and given me the opportunity to learn how to adapt and work with motivated and innovative professionals on a daily basis.

2. Never be afraid to ask questions

Whether you’re new or a full-time employee, there is no such thing as a dumb question. From my first day to my last day, I always felt comfortable asking my superiors questions about assignments when I needed clarification, because it’s better to get it right than “just wing it.”

At Cuebiq, communication is key. Whether we’re Slack messaging about a current task or congratulating someone for closing a deal, we’re always communicating with and supporting one another.

It’s important to develop the confidence to ask questions and reach out, so you can build strong relationships with your coworkers. I’ve found that in my experience here, specifically working in the marketing department, my superiors are glad when I ask questions because it shows I care and am proactive. Your coworkers are there to help and support you, so take advantage of that.

3. Always bring new ideas to the table

Sure, any intern can come into work every day, complete the tasks at hand, and then go home. However, to excel as an intern, you should make that extra effort and share new, creative ideas, because they not only help the company as a whole but also help you make a lasting impression. Be the intern who makes an impact on your department and company.

The worst that could happen is your idea doesn’t come to fruition. Remember: You are coming in with fresh eyes and perspective, so prove to your managers that they hired you for a reason.

For example, when Cuebiq’s Marketing team started preparing for their upcoming Instagram launch, I immediately started brainstorming ideas, such as a Spotlight Series to highlight our employees every week. I wanted to make a positive contribution to our social media and am happy I was able to do so.

4. Be grateful for every opportunity you are given

In the end, your internship is what you make of it. Don’t take your role for granted. No matter how big or small the task is, you should own it and get the job done well. Especially as an intern, it’s easy to think that intern work is less important than that of full-time employees. In reality, every task matters and you should treat it as such, even if it seems like you’re working on “just another Excel sheet.”

Each person in the company plays an integral part in keeping it moving and functioning on a daily basis. The small tasks will lead to big tasks, and, before you know it, you can make a name for yourself at the company. I’ve learned that first-hand working at Cuebiq, where we are lucky to have a comfortable size of employees, whose work is truly valued.

At Cuebiq, I’ve always felt like an equal, being included in marketing meetings, emails, lunches, and more, which have given me endless opportunities to learn and succeed. This speaks volumes about the importance of company culture, which can make or break your internship experience. If you’re lucky, you’ll love your coworkers and your company. Ultimately, being grateful for the people and opportunities that helped shape your time here will take you far in your career.

About the Author

Anna Livaccari, Growth Marketing Manager

Anna is a Boston College grad, loves being outdoors, and is a huge foodie.